BUY­ING

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Know It ► Buy It ► Ride It ► Love It -

BODY­WORK

> Ba­si­cally good, strong Honda fare, ’Blade body­work suf­fers from over­tight­ened fas­ten­ers; the cen­tral fas­tener just above the head­light and the tail-unit bolts will all crack the body­work if over-tight­ened – which is easy to do. Cer­tain items for the ’92 and ’93 ’Blades are be­com­ing scarce now: screens, un­der­trays and top fair­ing pan­els in cer­tain colours are rare. Take care buy­ing from the US; they had dif­fer­ent colours; and make sure the seller is sure about which model the part comes from. Also, check you can’t ‘shake hands’ with the in­di­ca­tors; a sign the bike has been over, which pushes the in­di­ca­tor stalk through the panel be­hind it.

GEAR­BOX

> The first RR-N and RR-P ’Blades had di­rect gear levers and the ’boxes felt stiff. The RR-R to RR-X had a link­age and a mod­i­fied ’box, and are much smoother. In ei­ther case, sec­ond gear has been known to take a bat­ter­ing from clumsy shifts, so run the bike up through the ’box un­der load to check for jump­ing or skip­ping out of gear. Walk away if found to be the case.

CUSH BEAR­INGS

> Early ’Blades give cush and rear wheel bear­ings a harder time than other bikes; worth check­ing for play in all of them. Might as well fit new cush-drive rub­bers while you’re in there too.

TYRES

> Choice for 16in front wheel is not as bad as you’d think; most of the big com­pa­nies still make them. Bridge­stone S20 is a pop­u­lar choice, or Dun­lop Qual­i­fier II or Met­zeler Sportec M3s. The 17in front wheel con­ver­sion is pop­u­lar: NC30 fronts keep the ca­ble speedo drive for ’92/’93 ’Blades; VFR750 or CBR600F wheels seem to be the least trou­ble for ’94 to ’97 bikes.

MECHANICALS

> Ba­si­cally sound, lit­tle will go wrong with a fet­tled Fire­blade en­gine. A noisy top-end rat­tle on the right side of the en­gine that dis­ap­pears as the en­gine revs up prob­a­bly means a spent cam­chain ten­sioner; eas­ily re­placed. The ’Blade clutch is mostly strong, and there are no other spe­cific con­cerns.

SUS­PEN­SION

> Gen­er­ally solid (in a good way). Fork seals aren’t prone to fail­ure, but the rear shock can get tired af­ter 30,000 miles and oc­ca­sion­ally the damper rod seal blows, leav­ing a ring of oil around the rub­ber bump stop. Plenty of well-used re­place­ments on ebay, or try a used af­ter­mar­ket shock: they’re re­build­able. The orig­i­nal Showa is tech­ni­cally re­build­able, but it’s a false econ­omy as it’s im­pos­si­ble to find re­place­ment seals of suf­fi­cient qual­ity and it’ll only blow again.

REG/REC

> Reg/rec fail­ure is a com­mon prob­lem on 1990s VFR750S and Black­birds as well as ’Blades. It’s a ran­dom prob­lem, un­re­lated to mileage or age, but eas­ily reme­died be­fore it hap­pens by fit­ting an af­ter­mar­ket item with ex­ten­sive and gen­er­ous cool­ing fins.

IM­PORTS

> Plenty of ’Blades came in as par­al­lel im­ports in the mid-’90s; kph clocks and right-dipped head­lights are the dif­fer­ences. There were sto­ries of vari­ances in power out­put, but only French and Swiss bikes dif­fered from UK bikes in this and – to our knowl­edge – none of these were im­ported.

USE­FUL CON­TACTS

• David Sil­ver Spares david­sil­vers­pares co.uk, 01728 833020. Parts and info • CMS cm­snl.com. Dutch web­site with thou­sands of parts for all Honda mod­els • fire­blades.org one of many web­sites ded­i­cated to the Fire­blade (see also Honda Fire­blade Own­ers Club on Face­book) • SMD Tyres mo­tor­cy­cle-tyres.co.uk, 01942 261111. Mail or­der tyres • Max­ton max­ton­sus­pen­sion.co.uk, 01928 740531. Sus­pen­sion genuises

We’re still froth­ing over foam

If it’s shot it’s bet­ter to re­place than re­pair

Some­how Honda still found space for this

Faux usd forks are ac­tu­ally a ro­bust rwu type

Orig­i­nal top cowls are be­com­ing rare

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.